The value of lunch time for a busy vet

TODAY was a quiet day at work – well at least we all got a bite of lunch and since I am on call this weekend, lunchtime means several things in the life of a mixed practice vet.

Firstly, it means a warm cup of tea, possibly a sandwich and usually a biscuit or two.

Secondly, it means a chance to catch up with phone calls and each other. I thought at the tender age of 15 that I did not want a job that involved lots of paperwork. Sadly I spend an awful lot of time on the phone and attached to a computer. I guess it is a way that the world works nowadays. Phone calls consist of returning worried clients’ calls who are waiting for test results, farmer enquiries for medications and visits, and horse owners trying to co-ordinate shared visits and fit in with our area visits where they benefit from a heavily discounted visit fee.

Catching up with each other is important, firstly to discuss cases and keep up to date with developments in the practice and outside in the wider veterinary world.

It also invariably leads to a great deal of storytelling. I think on entry to university, storytelling ability should be assessed along with good grades at school and work experience — maybe it already is as we all seem to be able to encounter numerous stories of close shaves, mishaps and general hilarity.

The senior members of the practice, we are able to wind up and set off and they can tell tale after tale. For those of you who read The Northumbrian magazine John Prescott has already shared many of his escapades with us, and those of you who have read this column for a while will have also been party to some. Many, however, we are too scared to put in print.

If you ever come across a book by a vet of stories written under a fairly hilarious pseudonym it is likely to have been penned by one of us.

On a slightly more veterinary/animal note our puppy parties have begun again for 2014. Carolyn Tate and Sarah Scott, two of our qualified nurses, are in charge this year and are doing two evenings a month at our main surgery at Whorral Bank.

The evenings are very informal with 10 to 15 puppies and their owners coming to our meeting room. Carolyn and Sarah do a short presentation and then the puppies are allowed to socialise and play while the nurses answer any queries.

The parties are free of charge and all fully vaccinated registered puppies under four months are allowed to attend, and like all good parties, party bags are supplied. A mop is also on hand at all times for the inevitable accidents from excited owners – oops I meant puppies. We look forward to meeting all your puppies throughout 2014

By Kate Matheson, Director